The 99th Percentile Bowl: 2009's Harvard-Yale Game, A Compiled Air-to-Ground Report

The Harvard-Yale game's a storied tradition for Ivy League grads who enjoy comparing degree sizes/names. For everyone else, it's an opportunity to watch America's Prestigious Ivy Grads try to act like normal football fans, which they can't. So: what happened?!

First of all, the only people besides Harvard-Yale grads who have anything invested in this ritual are their hangers-on, asshole bloggers (me), or sports writers, who think they have a really great narrative on their hands by writing the same narrative they do every year. Watch. This year's filing by ESPN, penned by one Mr. Tom Lakin:

It is, after all, the 126th installment of a tradition that began back in 1875 with a 4-0 Harvard win. In the years since that first meeting, the legend of The Game has grown. Perhaps best known is the 1968 contest in which Harvard scored 16 points in the final 42 seconds to tie an undefeated and heavily favored Yale squad — a result immortalized in The Harvard Crimson student newspaper by the famous headline "Harvard Beats Yale, 29-29."

In 2008:

Before two of the nation's oldest universities had a field to play on, they were eager to prove which school was superior in the rough-and-tumble new sport of football. Since 1875, the Harvard-Yale rivalry has emerged simply as "The Game."...And with Satuday's tilt at the Yale Bowl the first time since 1968 both Yale and Harvard come into The Game unbeaten in league play, the rivalry game will determine the Ivy title.

And in 2007:

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — The current Yale and Harvard players have heard all about the tradition of the venerable rivalry and are preparing to make some history of their own. Meeting No. 124 is Saturday and the stakes are as high as they get with the Ivy League title up for grabs. Both teams enter with 6-0 conference records. The last time that happened was 1968 and Harvard famously rallied from 16 points down in the final 42 seconds to tie Yale, spoiling Yale's perfect season.

So, yeah: basically, the same shit every year. Big old tradition for people who don't normally care about football to care about football. These people don't have time for football! Between all the awesome regattas and going to one of a handful of schools getting a degree from now maybe matters, football's mostly bullshit to them until they own a stake in whatever team is smashing the Bears this week. To the rest of us, it's interesting only if you've really seen Big or The Dark Knight that many times, and there's nothing else to watch on TV. Because the Harvard-Yale game, as far as football goes, sucks. This is not an opinion so much as it is a general consensus.

This young gentlemen seems to think this year's hyperbolic announcing of the Yale-Harvard game might be a bit much.

The 99th Percentile Bowl: 2009's Harvard-Yale Game, A Compiled Air-to-Ground Report

As in, straight-up stupid. Because, yes, going to a game in New Haven is just like seeing a game anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line. You don't need to watch football or sports or even have been to the south to understand this. One palpable difference is: at the Harvard-Yale game, this guy has a better chance at scoring than either of the teams.

The 99th Percentile Bowl: 2009's Harvard-Yale Game, A Compiled Air-to-Ground Report

Needless to say, the situation in the SEC is slightly different. Like security! At Old Miss, they have issues with people wearing costumes. I mean, sure, Yale has people in "costumes."

The 99th Percentile Bowl: 2009's Harvard-Yale Game, A Compiled Air-to-Ground Report

But real football games don't mess with things like facepaint, or the asstacular body suit pictured above. Oh no, these guys go all out:

The 99th Percentile Bowl: 2009's Harvard-Yale Game, A Compiled Air-to-Ground Report

Woah, there, buddy! Went a little over the edge with your sporty spirit, no? Just slightly. KKK guys, showin' up to Old Miss games. At least the Ivy crowd would pick up on this kind of irony, and dress as Marxists, or something. What'd security at the Yale-Harvard game look like today?

The 99th Percentile Bowl: 2009's Harvard-Yale Game, A Compiled Air-to-Ground Report

OH ZHHOOOZHOOPUPPY.

Yeah, but Ivy Peeps can get hard, too, motherfuckers.

When they're not busy farting out the inevitable air of disappointment over the uninitiated. Observe the sad and sober:

The 99th Percentile Bowl: 2009's Harvard-Yale Game, A Compiled Air-to-Ground Report

A first-time drinker's disappointment, maybe? Next time we suggest an ether-soaked cloth. Because this isn't exactly the riotous assembly the rest of College Football gets to see every Saturday. Oh no. This is something else. The easily intimidated should gird their loins:

The 99th Percentile Bowl: 2009's Harvard-Yale Game, A Compiled Air-to-Ground Report

Who's skiing, today, right? The most accurate assessment might come via comparative basis. Granted, your high school football team may not be running world economies, but at least they can run an audible.

The 99th Percentile Bowl: 2009's Harvard-Yale Game, A Compiled Air-to-Ground Report

There is, however, culture to be had! And Yale-Harvard has a competitive spirit, to be sure. While inflatable bulldogs loom over alumni old and young, the youngest are trying to get drunk enough to black out—but inevitably puking—while rumblings and remembrances of competition not yet had or had too often result in the vicious pejorative shouting of whose school is better. It results in things like this. NSFW, especially if your work has a thing against assholes being incredible assholes and bad apings of The Departed:

And astute observations!

The 99th Percentile Bowl: 2009's Harvard-Yale Game, A Compiled Air-to-Ground Report

In SECspeak, this translates to EAT SHIT AND DIE YANKEE even though a rival school might only be thirty minutes north of another. Lost in translation, again and again. Other dispatches emerge:

The 99th Percentile Bowl: 2009's Harvard-Yale Game, A Compiled Air-to-Ground Report

I'm not sure what that means, but then again, I didn't go to Yale. Or Harvard. But I bet it has something to do with the enormous networking opportunities that present themselves at these things. Next year, I'm dressing as this guy and not leaving until I've closed a lower rate on my Visa. Or at least my dry cleaning bill.

But in the end, a winner must emerge. And today's winner was a come-from-behind defeat by Harvard. Let the celebrating begin. With Batman fans:

The 99th Percentile Bowl: 2009's Harvard-Yale Game, A Compiled Air-to-Ground Report

The Dark Knight would like you to get home safely, you second-rate sissies! A 14-10 victory IN YO FACE. More! The Harvard Law Dean of Students' Twitter Feed would like to feed into your insecurities over and over and over Yalies. Even they gotta get in on the action:

The 99th Percentile Bowl: 2009's Harvard-Yale Game, A Compiled Air-to-Ground Report

And Yale fans, like any good sports fans, prepare to riot at the failure of their warriors. Cop cars, turned over! Terrible taunting! Emotionally scarring and physically dangerous situations, yes? Yes!

The 99th Percentile Bowl: 2009's Harvard-Yale Game, A Compiled Air-to-Ground Report

We all have our own private consolations. Because, really, though, all college football ends in the same result, no matter who it is winning, no matter your school, your degree, your color, age, race, sexual orientation, tax bracket, building clearence, byline or birthright, we really truly are all the same when it comes to the endgame of a football victory: some straight-up homoerotic manlove, as fans rush the field.

The 99th Percentile Bowl: 2009's Harvard-Yale Game, A Compiled Air-to-Ground Report

Granted, these fans won't be getting arrested today, like everyone else's, but then again, they're not tearing down goalposts, either. Hell, they might get to play on "special teams" for an hour or two. A higher, deeper education, indeed. Note the young man in the left-hand corner of the picture, though: he knows, oh yes, he knows the truth of the situation. Yale-Harvard games, like their students, are just different. In the best ways possible.